Philander Chase



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Chase writes to his nephew to tell him of a student who has dropped out of the school and changes he thinks should be made to its administration. Chase also discusses feeling overwhelmed with work as well as a response to a negative pamphlet being distributed in England and the favorable reaction to it. He also discusses his brother George's disappointing conduct and the death of his son, Philander.




Columbus, Mr. Fay, Dr. Mainard, Mr. Brainard, Cheshire, Mr. Piney, Mr. Burr, Oxford, Cambridge, Zanesville, Convention, Board of Trustees, Mr. Sparrow, Remarks, pamphlet, Lord Kenyon, Mr. Wiggin, Mr. Marriott, Dr. Gaskin, George Chase, Philander Jr., Rebecca Morse, Bp. Bowen, Mr. Rutledge


Worthington Mar. 3, 1825

My Dear Nephew,

I was both surprised and grieved when at Columbus, a few days since, at learning from Mr. [Fay] that your box of books had not gone. In the box is a letter which I supposed you to have read long ago: besides the good that the books would have effected in your parish is “left undone.” Mr. Fay said there was an opportunity of soon forwarding the box to Wheeling: and I desired him not to do so: in which to apprise you is part of the design in writing you this letter but not all: for I want to tell you something about Mr. [Dunlery]. I liked him well: and treated him as well as I knew how, and he went on in his study of the Latin Grammar and got as far as “Sum & Nolo.” There he stopt short & said he could not pursue his studies any further. I exhorted him to perseverance and begged him to consider the evil both to himself and to our infant school by his leaving so: but all would not do: so he must. Since he has been away, however, I have reflected on it and can see the hand of mercy in it. For being of very moderate talents and of an inflatable disposition it would have been still more unpleasant had he gone on longer. Would that he hand been tried, I mean as to his taste and capacity for learning, at some school before he came here! This example may teach us not to make our offers so cheap: but have a little trial before hand. I have no doubt our school will fill fast enough. Mr. [Lamfon] of Columbus told me that if he had known of our school being open he would have sent for his son from Cont. in the fall. As it is he would write immediately and take him from Cheshire & place him with me. A son of Dr. Mainard late of this place desires to come: but the example of Mr. Dunl. has influenced me to put him to the trouble of ascertaining whether he can learn or not before he comes. Mr. Brainard of Boardman is one of the best young men I know. I would he were farther advanced! Mr. Burr’s son [Braston] is coming on well in his latin, and stays with me steadily except Sundays when he goes home. I think well of his talents and piety. Mr. Chester Piney’s son Harvey is also one of the number I trust from his capacity and memory he will do well. I attend on them all but find it a great confinement. I have the 4 parishes as usual to attend to; and what with my farm, family, and a correspondence ten times as extensive and numerous as ever fell to myself before I am almost distracted.

Mr. Sparrow will be with me in about a month: when that blessed event takes place, I shall be able, I hope to turn myself to something for the benefit of the Diocese. The question where our Seminary is to be placed is still undecided even in my own mind. I am however more and more adverse to putting it on or near a village. Unless the Seminary have a power to prevent immoral practice, and things that would prove impervious to the opinions and study of youth for at least 2 miles around, it will be in vain even to expect to raise a College sufficiently numerous and useful to justify the pains and the charity bestowed. Oxford and Cambridge in Eng. commenced from beginnings no more extensive than ours, have arisen to the highest eminence – but this they never would have done but under the most guarded restrictions. The whole country round about is under their control; & the Vice Chancellor in each can prevent anything which he thinks detrimental to youth. It was and is the opinion of the leading men in England who have befriended us that we fix our Seminary on our own land of the extent mentioned: and tho’ thro’ our inability to purchase a cultivated country now yet by fixing on a spot it would soon be cleared all around & that while the buildings were erecting. In the meantime temporary buildings might be constructed on this their place till all things were in a state of readiness. But I want more time than I have share here to talk with you on this and a thousand other subjects. The Trustees must all be together at Zanesville one week at least before the meeting of the Convention. I told you that Mr. Sparrow will be with me about the first of Apl. if the Lord will. Now if dear Mr. Wells chuses [sic] to send his boys they shall be most faithfully attended to for Cloth and that cheaper than in any school in the United States. If all things are blessed by God, and especially in our counsels with unanimity, we shall rear one of the finest institutions and most to the Glory of God in the edification of this primitive Church to be found in all our land.

The doings of our late Convention create a song of triumph throughout all “Old Eng.” Where is the schism say they so confidently predicted? An answer to the “Remarks” has been printed in Eng. It treats the author of that pamphlet with a most compassionate regard. It is addressed to Lord Kenyon and writes at his Lordship’s and Mr. Wiggin’s, Mr. Marriott’s & Dr. Gaskin’s particular request. At its peaceable tendency I sincerely rejoice. I prayed to God to forgive my brother: and tho’ he may call this “affection” it is, if I know my own heart, a sincere prayer.

George’s conduct made me give up the thoughts of [?] the plan which I had fondly entertained concerning the life and writings of dear Philander. I reposed confidence in him for his sober conduct: but he went to Columbus and there disgraced us all. After this the most painful prospect was before me in keeping him here & accordingly at his request I put him in company with a Gentleman from Delaware going to the [cartward] & sent him to his family. Philander’s death was triumph compared with this.

My best love to dear Rebecca. Kiss the dear Babe for her grandfather & your loving uncle,

Philander Chase

A little pamphlet being styled “A Memoir and Obituary of the Rev. Phil. Chase son of” [written] and composed principally from Bp. Bowen’s letter to me and of Mr. Rutledge’s address has been printed in London & circulated throughout Eng’d. with (it is said) very signally good effect. Tho dead my son “yet speaketh.”

Letter to Intrepid Morse



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